Global warming is a major problem for the world at large, and one of the key ways to fight this calamity is through alternative energy sources. This includes solar and wind power.
When implementing an alternative energy source, you can install a solar panel on your home. How big is a solar panel? We will answer this question below and various other information on solar energy. Some of the key points covered in this guide include:
- The number of solar panels needed to power a house or a room
- The best places to purchase solar panels and the costs associated with them
- The importance of using alternative energy sources for fighting climate change
If you want this planet around for your grandkids and great-grandkids to enjoy, embrace switching from oil and gas to solar energy.
How Large is a Solar Panel?
First and foremost, we want to answer: How big is a solar panel? In general, the average or typical solar panel size for residential panels is approximately 65 inches by 39 inches. These panels are generally 5.4 feet by 3.25 feet in size.
However, this does depend on the manufacturer. Some manufacturers may have slight deviations in the size of their solar panels from the standard size outlined above. For example, solar panels from the company SunPower are 61.3 inches by 41.2 inches in size.
Furthermore, the weight of the average residential solar panel is about 42 pounds. The standard frame of the solar panel is about 1.25 by 1.6 inches in size.
The dimensions of solar panels have remained about the same for many years, while the power output and effectiveness of solar panels have improved significantly over the decades.
What is the Standard Size of a Commercial Solar Panel?
Now that we know the standard size of a residential solar panel, it is essential to understand the typical size of a commercial solar panel. The size of commercial solar panels is about 78 inches in length and approximately 39 inches in width.
Commercial solar panels also weigh about 50 pounds or more. Essentially, commercial solar panels are larger than residential solar panels. Commercial solar panels have anywhere from 72 to 98 cells, while residential ones range from 60 to 72 cells.
Furthermore, commercial solar panels are more efficient and powerful in terms of providing energy for the site. Residents can potentially purchase commercial solar panels if their roofs can properly support these panels.
Both commercial and residential solar panels get installed using a bolted racking system. Commercial solar panels are usually white, while residential ones can be black or white.
Why is the Size of a Solar Panel Important For a Home?
The particular size of a solar panel is vital for a home because the shape and dimensions of the house’s roof will dictate how big the solar panels should be during installation. The size of residential solar panels is usually correct for the roofs of most homes.
The shape and orientation of the roof are essential to understand when installing solar panels to make sure the proper amount of panels are used and positioned appropriately next to each other.
The weight of solar panels is also important to consider for your home, as you will need to know how much weight your roof can support before installing the panels.
You will need to calculate whether your roof can support a particular solar panel system. Usually, a roof should be able to handle at least three to four pounds per square foot.
How Big is a 300W Solar Panel?
A 300W solar panel is a common type used in powering homes. The general size of a 300-watt solar panel gets based on the size and number of solar cells utilized and the efficiency of each cell.
The most typical dimensions of a 300W solar panel are 1640 mm by 922 mm or 64.57 inches by 39.06 inches. The thickness of a 300-watt solar panel is between 35 mm and 40 mm. There are numerous appliances that a 300-watt solar panel can power, such as:
- Vacuum cleaner
- Laptop or desktop computer
- Slow cooker or crockpot
- Ceiling fan
- Electric fence
- Laptop charger
Furthermore, a typical 300-watt solar panel has an average current of 9.5 amps DC with 42 volts. You’ll need to pick the right amount of current and the right size of a solar panel for your particular roof before purchasing a solar panel system.
How Many Solar Panels Does It Take to Power a Home?
It will likely take anywhere from 28 to 34 solar panels to produce an adequate amount of energy to power a home. The typical house in the United States implements 10,400 kWh of electricity every year.
If purchasing 250-watt residential solar panels, you will likely need to use at least 28 solar panels to install on your home’s roof. The number of solar panels you will need will also dictate how much you have to spend on installing these panels.
Generally, one panel will cost 50 cents to 70 cents per watt to run. A 300W solar panel would cost at least $150, which means installing 28 panels will cost at least $4,200 in total. However, you’ll also need to cover the costs of having a professional install these panels.
How Many Solar Panels Do I Need to Power a Room?
You will need at least 15 solar panels to power a little house of 1,000 square feet. Let’s say this house has about three main rooms and a small bathroom. As such, it will take around five solar panels to power an individual room in this small home.
Larger homes of 2,000 square feet will need at least 29 solar panels to power the entire residence. A huge place of 3,000 square feet will require at least 44 residential solar panels.
To figure out how many solar panels are needed to power each room, you will need to calculate the square footage of every room and determine its fraction over the entire home. Then you can multiply the fraction by the number of solar panels the home has.
What is the Average Cost of a Solar Panel System?
Installation services and the entire solar panel system tend to cost anywhere between $15,000 and $25,000. However, the more beneficial aspect is that solar panel systems usually require little maintenance and are built to last for at least 20 years.
Despite the high costs, there are government incentives available for those who want to install solar panels and use alternative energy sources.
There is a federal tax credit for residents who install solar panels in which taxpayers can claim 26 percent of the costs related to installation as long as the systems are in place before December 31, 2022.
You can reduce or even eliminate the tax amount you have to pay through the federal tax credits. There are also additional financial incentives offered in certain states.
Where Can I Purchase Solar Panels?
Solar companies sell a variety of solar panels and are also certified to install these products. If you purchase from a solar company, then their installers will plan and complete the operation.
Distributors also sell solar panel kits in case you can and are qualified to install the panels by yourself. You can buy Amazon solar kits and solar panels from wholesale resellers, which you will need to install yourself.
Some of the best and most trusted solar panel brands in recent years include:
- Q CELLS
- LG Solar
- Canadian Solar
If you are looking for the best solar inverter brands, then you might want to choose Fronius USA, Enphase Energy, and SMA America, LLC. These are some of the options you can consider when deciding where you should purchase your solar panels.
Do Solar Panels Work at Night?
To be completely accurate, solar panels do not actually work or generate energy at night. The photovoltaic cells in solar panels require sunlight to produce electricity.
Yet, solar panels can generate a very small amount of energy from light sources like the moon and street lamps. However, this type of energy output is too small to run a home.
While solar panels do not produce enough energy at night, they do create extra energy during the daylight hours when the sun is shining bright.
To ensure you have enough energy to run your home during the evenings and later at night, you can use solar battery banks to store the extra energy produced during the day. You can also implement net metering to store energy.
When is the Best Time to Install Solar Panels?
Every expert has their own idea about the best time to install solar panels. Some have found that the fall is the best time to install solar panels, while others have stated the winter as being the best time to install these systems.
If you want to install your solar panels in the winter, you will gain the advantages of saving on costs, installing them faster, and getting ahead of air conditioning prices in the summer months.
Solar panels cost less in the winter because there is less demand, and solar companies can complete it faster since they have fewer customers during this season.
Fall is also an excellent time to install solar panels because it allows you to gain solar incentives from federal and state tax credits through the end of 2022.
What are the Steps to Follow When Installing Solar Panels on the Roof?
The steps you need to follow when installing a solar panel system on your roof are:
- Install mounts and fix them onto the roof to support the solar panels
- Install and fix the solar panels with the mounting structure
- Tighten the bolts and nuts to fix the panels onto the mounts
- Perform the electrical wiring for the panels, which can be electrically connected either in a series connection or a parallel connection
- Connect the solar panel system to a solar inverter where the positive and negative terminals of the battery align with the positive and negative terminals of the inverter
- Link the solar inverter to the solar grid
- Start the inverter switch to ON at the main switch
What are the Top Benefits of Solar Energy?
The biggest benefits of solar energy include:
- Reduction of pollution in the air
- Decreases in water use
- Making a difference for the planet in the fight against climate change
- Lowering dependence on nonrenewable energy sources such as oil and fossil fuels
- Boosting human health over the long-term
- Working in multiple different climates
- Improving your home’s value
- Having a long lifespan
Solar panels are a proven technology, and solar energy benefits the entire electricity grid because the conventional utility grid can use extra solar energy. Solar panels have a very long lifespan of as much as 40 years or even more.
Your home value will also increase. Research shows that homes in the United States with PV panels tend to sell for 4.1 percent more than similar homes in the same region.
Why is Alternative Energy Important to Pursue?
Renewable and alternative energy sources are essential to partake in because they can replenish themselves without taking any of the planet’s resources.
Solar energy and other alternative energy sources cause very little environmental damage when compared to oil and fossil fuels.
Alternative energy sources reduce the need for water and land use, produce much less air and water pollution, and lead to no greenhouse gas emissions. Furthermore, renewable energy like solar energy produces lower costs for the consumer.
Renewable energy also boosts the economy and produces more jobs for people worldwide. It can also help prevent power shortages by offering another solution for the electricity grid.
Lastly, renewable energy is available to low-income nations as it provides the lowest-cost source for generating power.